Monday, February 18, 2008

MoSCoW Squared

Agile business analysts are well aware of the MoSCoW framework. That is - the classification of requirements as "Must Have", "Should Have", "Could Have" and "Won't Have". The beauty of this classification is that it clearly defines the stories in understandable terms of importance - rather than 1, 2, 3, 4.

A colleague of mine - David Smith - recently pondered the importance of several stories across two dimensions. There were features that had high importance to one party but not the other, and there were stories that appealed to both constituencies. He plotted the requirements on a two-dimensional grid, assigning their importance across the two dimensions representing those constituencies. It was so informing and illuminating that I thought other agilists would benefit from the idea. Here's an anesthetized version:

Ultimately, the value of the story stems from its radial proximity to the root. In other terms, you could probably draw an arc reflective of the relative importance of each axis (or constituent).

I hope you find it useful. I know that, for us, it provided an "aha" moment.

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